Past Events

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The Mineta Consortium for Transportation Mobility organizes or participates in several transportation-related events each year. These include national summits, regional forums, industry conferences, or special events and broadcasts. You can find leading transportation experts at all of these events, making them an excellent resource not only for professional and research insights, but also for networking.

Dates Events
April 28, 2023 Transport and the Triple Bottom Line Summit 2023: Transit Lessons Learned from the Pandemic (So Far)  -  Online

The Transport and the Triple Bottom Line Summit sought to explore the concept of 'sustainable transport,' leaving attendees with a fuller understanding, and most importantly, a definition for the term. Panelists and speakers included an array of national experts, practitioners, and scholars on social equity and transport, the environmental impact of transport, financial mechanisms for secure and continuous operations, as well as, decision-makers currently involved in California's notable public-private partnerships. Further, conference panelists included leaders in the advocacy, public, private, P3, and nonprofit sectors. Integrating existing discourse and studies on sustainability and Elkington's and Savitz's Triple Bottom Line, attendees leave with a holistic and objective definition of sustainable transport, allowing all parties the ability to confidently and equally assess and explain such transport.

View Agenda

*MTI was a proud co-sponsor of this event.

April 27, 2023 Combating Human Trafficking in Transportation (2023 Caltrans Safety Awareness Week)  -  Online

Human trafficking, a form of modern slavery, is the recruitment, transport, and/or transfer of persons using force, fraud, or coercion to exploit them for acts of labor, services, or sex. It is the fastest growing organized crime with approximately $150B in annual profits. Because trafficking relies on the transportation network to recruit, move, and transfer victims and to move goods produced by forced labor, the transportation industry plays a critical role in preventing and combating human trafficking.  Transportation can also be a gateway for survivors to leave their trafficking situation and obtain aid to rebuild their lives. 

For 2023 Caltrans Safety Awareness Week, the Mineta Transportation Institute hosted a one-hour webinar featuring expert panelists to showcase efforts to combat human trafficking in the United States. Experts discussed these critical questions: How can industry employees protect loved ones & our community? How can we learn to identify risk factors and signs of human trafficking when in the transportation system? 

Watch the recording to learn more about the role of transportation industry stakeholders in facilitating effective prevention training programs and increasing accurate victim identification, as well as putting in place survivor-centered and trauma-informed response protocols.

View the Recording 

View the List of Resources

View & Download PDH Certificate


About the Panelists

  • Paul Chang, Regional Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinator, US Department of Labor – Wage and Hour Division

Paul Chang serves as the Regional Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinator at the U.S. Department of Labor – Wage and Hour Division. In his 28+ years with the agency, Paul worked on some of the most celebrated cases as an investigator and Assistant District Director. He developed numerous training materials and programs, including the Enterprise Model that focuses on strategic approaches to prosecution, protection, and prevention of forced labor. Paul served as the National Co-Chair of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (WHIAANHPI) Regional Network. Paul is also a lecturer at Cal State LA’s MPA program and Vanguard University on Human Trafficking. He is the recipient of numerous Secretary’s Awards and community honors, including the 2019 Global Center for Women and Justice Diamond Award.

  • Evelyn Chumbow, Operations Manager and Survivor Advocate, Human Trafficking Legal Center (HTLC)

Evelyn Chumbow is a survivor of child labor trafficking turned anti-trafficking activist and public speaker. Chumbow has been invited to brief several government agencies about human trafficking from a survivor’s perspective, including the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, the State Department, and the Department of Justice. She was appointed by President Obama to serve on the U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking. She has been invited as a speaker to international events and has been awarded many honors for her work. Chumbow serves as an advisor to human trafficking NGOs and on the Board of Directors for Free the Slaves. Chumbow hopes to leverage her unique position as a former child slave to end human trafficking in her hometown and globally.

  • Aston Greene, Chief of System Safety and Security, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA)

  • Polly Hanson, Senior Director, Security, Risk and Emergency Management, American Public Transportation Association (APTA)

Polly Hanson coordinates with APTA stakeholders to develop transit security, risk and emergency management standards and policies. She serves as the Vice-chair of the TSA Surface Transportation Security Advisory Committee. Previously Ms. Hanson was the Chief of Police for AMTRAK, where she led a national police department responsible for protecting over 30 million passengers and 20,000 employees. Additionally, as the Chief of the Metro Transit Police in D.C., she led a tristate police department and directed the response to the terrorist attacks in Madrid and London. She received WMATA’s Carmen E. Turner Award, and the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) named Ms. Hanson a “Woman Who Moves the Nation.” Ms. Hanson is a member of the Operation Lifesaver, Inc Board of Directors.

Dr. Yagci Sokat is an Assistant Professor of Business Analytics at San José State University and a Research Associate at the Mineta Transportation Institute with a passion for using analytics to alleviate human suffering in the areas of public health, humanitarian logistics, and human trafficking. Supported by the United States Department of Transportation, IBM, Valley Transportation Authority and San José State University, she has led various multi-disciplinary anti-trafficking projects and has served on several local anti-trafficking committees. She received her PhD in Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences from Northwestern University and holds master’s degrees from Georgia Institute of Technology with a Fulbright scholarship.

Presenters: Paul Chang, Evelyn Chumbow, Aston Greene, Polly Hanson, Dr. Kezban Yagci Sokat
April 23, 2023 VivaCalle @ SJSU

Viva CalleSJ was a free program that temporarily closes miles of San José streets to bring communities together to walk, bike, skate, play, and explore the city like never before. Attendees could enter through any of the side streets to join thousands as they wander through activity hubs, watch live art being created, see demonstrations of BMX specialists, purchase food from local food trucks, stop at a bike maintenance tent, grab water from one of the many water stations, hang out to watch a band or two, or play a few games. 

This year, SJSU was an official activity hub! At the SJSU Activity Hub, attendees all kinds of fun activities, including

  • Join the SJPL Makerspace[ship] Bus
  • Enjoy dancing from many cultures with Mosaic America
  • Speak with Council Member Omar Torres' office
  • Build a new city with SJSU Urban Planning
  • Learn how to say greetings in one of San José's many languages
  • Play games with SJSU Athletics
  • Learn about and take a selfie at the Cesar Chavez Arch
  • Dance to the marching band
  • Make some art
  • Participate in exercise demos
  • Win some swag from prize wheels
  • Purchase food from on-site food trucks

MTI was a proud co-sponsor of the SJSU Urban Planning's activity hub. 

March 21, 2023 When Women Lead: Strategies to Advance Equity

In celebration of Women’s History Month, the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) and the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) hosted a conversation with a diverse panel of women transportation leaders representing academia, public and private industries, and the nonprofit sectors as they shared personal stories from their careers and lessons learned as they rose to the top. 

Moderated by April Rai, CEO of COMTO and a member of the MTI Board of Trustees, this webinar delved into a critical issue faced by the transportation industry: How are we prioritizing women and other traditionally underrepresented voices to build the most inclusive and effective transportation workforce for our future? What can their success stories teach us about the values of empowering women? 

Speakers:

  • Melissa Figueroa, Chief of Strategic Communications, California High-Speed Rail Authority (CAHSRA)

  • Dr. Karen Philbrick, Executive Director, Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI)

  • Kimberly Slaughter, CEO, SYSTRA USA

  • Lynda Tran, Director of Public Engagement & Senior Advisor, U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT)

Moderator: April Rai, President & CEO, Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO)

This event was co-sponsored by COMTO and WTS San Francisco Bay Area Chapter.

PDH Certificate

View Recording


About the Panelists

  • Melissa Figueroa, Chief of Strategic Communications, California High-Speed Rail Authority (CAHSRA)

As the Chief of Strategic Communications, Melissa oversees the communications branches for media, stakeholder engagement, special projects, and outreach. Melissa previously served as CalSTA’s Deputy Secretary of Communications and Strategic Planning; Deputy Secretary of Communications and External Affairs at the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency; and Deputy Secretary of Communications at the State and Consumer Services Agency. Before beginning work in the state’s executive branch, Melissa worked within the Legislature as Press Secretary for California State Senator Joe Simitian. Figueroa graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 2002 with a degree in Journalism. She served as a student representative on the department’s advisory board and now serves on the Cal Poly Journalism Advisory Board.

Karen Philbrick is the executive director of the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) at San José State University, a position she has held since 2014. MTI leads three multi university competitively selected consortia: the Mineta Consortium for Transportation Mobility (MCTM) funded by the US Department of Transportation, the California State University Transportation Consortium (CSUTC) funded by the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 (CA Senate Bill 1) and the Climate Change and Extreme Events Training and Research Program funded by the Federal Railroad Administration. 

Dr. Philbrick has received many prestigious awards for her leadership excellence and outstanding contributions to her field. She received the CUTC Administrative Leadership award, the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) named Dr. Philbrick a “Woman Who Moves the Nation,” the Silicon Valley Business Journal named Dr. Philbrick 1 of the 100 Women of Influence in Silicon Valley.

Kimberly Slaughter has been involved in the development of mobility solutions for over 30 years and has a wealth of experience in the transportation industry, working for planning, architecture/engineering consulting firms and public transportation providers. She is a graduate of the University of Texas in Austin with an MSc in Community and Regional Planning. Kim was appointed to head the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) subcommittee for the Mobility Restoration & Recovery Task Force. Kim has also served on the APTA Board of Directors and Business Members Board of Governors, Business Council of the African American Mayors Association, Women’s Transportation Seminar, and Conference of Minority Transportation Officials.

  • Lynda Tran, Director of Public Engagement & Senior Advisor, U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT)

Lynda Tran serves as Director of Public Engagement and Senior Advisor to the Secretary. A longtime organizer and communicator with over two decades experience in policy, advocacy, and campaigns, Lynda returns to DOT after co-founding 270 Strategies, where she developed public engagement strategies for clients across the globe – including the Environmental Defense Fund, Oxfam America, United Way Worldwide, FAMM, the Black Economic Alliance, and the Economic Security Project. Recently, she was a senior strategist for Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy and served on the Board of Advisors for Higher Ground Labs and Battleground Texas. A CBS News Political Contributor through the 2020 cycle, she previously led teams for Organizing for America, then-Governor Tim Kaine, and SEIU.

  • (Moderator) April Rai, President & CEO, Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO)

April joined COMTO in December 2021 as President and CEO with nearly 20 years of experience managing private, public sector and non-profit organizations. Previously, April served as Deputy Executive Director for Women’s Transportation Seminar International (WTS), leading the management of operations, staffing and program management for 65 chapters across North America. Prior to joining WTS, April served as the CEO for the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS), a coalition of over 100 organizations and agencies dedicated to youth health and safety education. April’s current appointments include Board Member, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), Board Member, Mineta Transportation Institute and numerous transportation related advisory boards.

March 18, 2023 Environmental Literacy Summit  -  Santa Clara County Office of Education, 1290 Ridder Park Drive, San José, CA 95131

The Santa Clara County Office of Education hosted their second annual Environmental Literacy Summit on Saturday, March 18, featuring guest speakers, student-led panels, interactive workshops, and an opportunity to connect with community-based partners.

Session Topics: 

  • Action & Advocacy in the Community 
  • Cultivating Green & Sustainable Campuses and Facilities 
  • School Gardens for Health and Education 
  • Inclusive Environmental Literacy Education 
  • Indigenous Knowledge & Land-Based Pedagogy 
  • Climate Action & Education 
  • Green Career Pathways 

*MTI was an exhibitor at this event. 

February 28, 2023 Voices of Impact  -  Online

This webinar was the fourth part of MTI Research Snaps' Advancing Transportation Equity series.

The Mineta Transportation Institute partnered with the California Planning Roundtable on Voices of Impact, an oral history project focused on identifying how past planning practices have impacted communities of color. The project highlights the voices of people who ordinarily may be reluctant to share their stories—to raise public awareness and to suggest how planning professionals and policy makers can change their practices in response. This film shares the unique stories of six individuals impacted by housing and land use policies enacted by federal, state and local governments and their successful community efforts for positive impact through emerging practices of equitable planning. This webinar shared critical perspectives that often go unheard, created a platform for historically underrepresented communities, and collaborated to find real solutions for injustice in our communities.

 

Watch the Project Video

Read ED Blog about the Project

 

 

View Recording

View Slide Deck

PDH Certificate

Discussion Guide


About the Presenter

Miguel Angel Vazquez, AICP, serves as the President of California Planning Roundtable. He is one of the first planners hired by a public health department in the nation. His role at the Riverside University Health System-Public Health is to strengthen the integration of planning and health through collaboration with non-traditional partners. The American Planning Association and affiliates have recognized his work and leadership with numerous awards, including the 2018 APA President’s Award and the 2020 APA California Distinguished Contribution Award.


About the Series

Transportation moves the world—impacting the lives of everyone, everywhere. Like many industries, transportation has dealt with its share of issues in equity. Transportation professionals work collaboratively to identify, analyze, and overcome inequities in the industry, acknowledging a sometimes-painful past to ensure that transportation policies serve all communities equitably

This February, we hosted a 4-part MTI Research Snaps series on “Advancing Transportation Equity.” In this series, MTI researchers discussed transforming equity in transportation as we reflected on some of the most pressing issues of diversity and accessibility in the industry as a whole and how to overcome them. 

Webinars include:

  • Webinar #1 | Feb 7, 12:30-1:00p.m. (PT) | Exploring the Use of Public Transportation Among Older Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A National Survey

  • Webinar #2 | Feb 14, 1:30-2:00p.m. (PT) | The Central Valley Transportation Challenge 

  • Webinar #3 | Feb 21, 12:30-1:00p.m. (PT) | Free Transit: It All Depends on How 

  • Webinar #4 | Feb 28, 12:30-1:00p.m. (PT) | Voices of Impact

Presenters: Miguel A. Vasquez, AICP
February 21, 2023 Free Transit: It All Depends on How  -  Online

This webinar was the third part of MTI Research Snaps' Advancing Transportation Equity series.

How can the transportation industry improve equity and ensure it fairly serves all communities? Free (or fareless) transit is presented as part of a solution to many problems—low ridership, growing income inequality, racial discrimination, and even climate change. While it is wholly unrealistic to expect fareless transit to solve any of these challenges on its own, the fact that it is a popular idea presents a substantial opportunity. It is worth asking—how can the ideas behind free transit be combined with other policies to make significant progress toward these goals? In this webinar, attendees learned about how free transit, microtransit, and other efforts could make a major impact on equity in transportation and bringing fair, accessible transportation to all.

PDH Certificate

View the Recording

View the Slides 

Read the Presenters' Perspective Paper


About the Presenters

Joshua Schank holds a PhD in Urban Planning from Columbia University and a Master of City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a Research Associate at the Mineta Transportation Institute, a Managing Principal at InfraStrategies, and a Senior Fellow in the Institute for Transportation Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Schank previously served as Chief Innovation Officer of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), President and CEO of the Eno Center for Transportation, and Transportation Policy Advisor to Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY).

Emma Huang is a Senior Consultant with InfraStrategies LLC. Emma previously worked as a Transportation Planner in the Office of Extraordinary Innovation at LA Metro. She has a Master of Public Policy from the University of California, Los Angeles.


About the Series

Transportation moves the world—impacting the lives of everyone, everywhere. Like many industries, transportation has dealt with its share of issues in equity. Transportation professionals work collaboratively to identify, analyze, and overcome inequities in the industry, acknowledging a sometimes-painful past to ensure that transportation policies serve all communities equitably. 

This February, we hosted a 4-part MTI Research Snaps series on “Advancing Transportation Equity.” In this series, MTI researchers discussed transforming equity in transportation as we reflected on some of the most pressing issues of diversity and accessibility in the industry as a whole and how to overcome them. 

Webinars include:

  • Webinar #1 | Feb 7, 12:30-1:00p.m. (PT) | Exploring the Use of Public Transportation Among Older Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A National Survey

  • Webinar #2 | Feb 14, 1:30-2:00p.m. (PT) | The Central Valley Transportation Challenge 

  • Webinar #3 | Feb 21, 12:30-1:00p.m. (PT) | Free Transit: It All Depends on How 

  • Webinar #4 | Feb 28, 12:30-1:00p.m. (PT) | Voices of Impact

Presenters: Joshua Schank, PhD & Emma Huang
February 14, 2023 The Central Valley Transportation Challenge  -  Online

This webinar was the second part of MTI Research Snaps' Advancing Transportation Equity series.

Students from minority populations and those in rural communities may not have the same established routes to learn about and access educational and professional opportunities as their peers from majority groups. The Central Valley Transportation Challenge (CVTC) provides underserved minority students, who are primarily from rural areas, with high quality transportation-related educational experiences so that they learn about transportation-related topics and opportunities in transportation careers. The CVTC is a project-based learning program that brings university faculty and students to K–12 classrooms in rural areas. This project supported K–12 teachers, connected K–12 students with university faculty and students, and transportation professionals, and developed an online hub with transportation-related lesson plans and sequences. The onset of the pandemic meant the timing of the program was especially useful, providing students that were learning from home with an engaging learning experience and some relief for teachers who were already dealing with a lot of adjustments. In this webinar, attendees learned about how the CVTC program empowered underserved students and how this model and its hub can continue making a positive impact in transportation.

 

Read the Full Report

View the Recording

View the Slides

View Fresno State Transportation Institute's K-12 Resources

 

PDH Certificate


About the Presenter

Dr. Christian Wandeler is an associate professor in research methods and statistics at California State University, Fresno. He has a Ph.D. in personality and positive psychology from the University of Zurich, Switzerland. His research interests are in the development of hope and learning achievement, project-based learning, and self-managing teams. He is currently researching the use of agile learning methods and design thinking in action civics projects. 


About the Series

Transportation moves the world—impacting the lives of everyone, everywhere. Like many industries, transportation has dealt with its share of issues in equity. Transportation professionals work collaboratively to identify, analyze, and overcome inequities in the industry, acknowledging a sometimes-painful past to ensure that transportation policies serve all communities equitably. 

This February, we hosted a 4-part MTI Research Snaps series on “Advancing Transportation Equity.” In this series, MTI researchers discussed transforming equity in transportation as we reflected on some of the most pressing issues of diversity and accessibility in the industry as a whole and how to overcome them. 

Webinars include:

  • Webinar #1 | Feb 7, 12:30-1:00p.m. (PT) | Exploring the Use of Public Transportation Among Older Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A National Survey

  • Webinar #2 | Feb 14, 1:30-2:00p.m. (PT) | The Central Valley Transportation Challenge 

  • Webinar #3 | Feb 21, 12:30-1:00p.m. (PT) | Free Transit: It All Depends on How 

  • Webinar #4 | Feb 28, 12:30-1:00p.m. (PT) | Voices of Impact

Presenters: Dr. Christian Wandeler
February 7, 2023 Exploring the Use of Public Transportation Among Older Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A National Survey  -  Online

This webinar was the first part of MTI Research Snaps' Advancing Transportation Equity series.

Millions of older adults rely on public transportation in their daily lives, but adults aged 65 years or older often face additional challenges accessing and using public transportation, and this population encountered even more barriers during the COVID-19 pandemic. How did limited mobility options (e.g., lack of buses or trains in service due a combination of government lockdowns, fear of contracting or spreading the virus, and driver shortages in certain areas) brought on by the pandemic affect older adults? Did transportation challenges result in more age-related declines in perceptual, cognitive, and physical functioning? This event explored how older adults living in major metropolitan cities in the United States used and perceived public transportation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Attendees learned about the potentials of mobile technology as an option for finding transportation information and how this study’s findings may help transit agencies develop effective strategies for meeting older adults’ transportation needs.

Read the Full Report

View Recording

PDH Certificate


About the Presenter

Dr. Egbe-Etu Etu is an Assistant Professor of Business Analytics at San José State University (SJSU). He is also a Research Associate in the Mineta Transportation Institute. Before joining SJSU, Dr. Etu received his PhD in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Wayne State University in 2021 and his bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Covenant University, Nigeria, in 2016. His research interests center on the development of use-inspired machine learning models to solve challenging business problems in healthcare, manufacturing, and transportation. He is a member of the Industrial Engineering and Operations Management (IEOM), Institute of Industrial & Systems Engineering (IISE), and SAVE International.


About the Series

Transportation moves the world—impacting the lives of everyone, everywhere. Like many industries, transportation has dealt with its share of issues in equity. Transportation professionals work collaboratively to identify, analyze, and overcome inequities in the industry, acknowledging a sometimes-painful past to ensure that transportation policies serve all communities equitably. 

This February, we hosted a 4-part MTI Research Snaps series on “Advancing Transportation Equity.” In this series, MTI researchers discussed transforming equity in transportation as we reflected on some of the most pressing issues of diversity and accessibility in the industry as a whole and how to overcome them. 

Webinars include:

  • Webinar #1 | Feb 7, 12:30-1:00p.m. (PT) | Exploring the Use of Public Transportation Among Older Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A National Survey

  • Webinar #2 | Feb 14, 1:30-2:00p.m. (PT) | The Central Valley Transportation Challenge 

  • Webinar #3 | Feb 21, 12:30-1:00p.m. (PT) | Free Transit: It All Depends on How 

  • Webinar #4 | Feb 28, 12:30-1:00p.m. (PT) | Voices of Impact

Presenters: Dr. Egbe-Etu Etu
January 24, 2023 Combating Human Trafficking in Transportation  -  Online

Human trafficking, a form of modern slavery, is the recruitment, transport, and/or transfer of persons using force, fraud, or coercion to exploit them for acts of labor, services, or sex. According to the International Labor Organization, 49.6 million people were living in modern slavery in 2021, of which 27.6 million were in forced labor and 12% of all those in forced labor were children.

Human trafficking is the fastest-growing organized crime with approximately $150B in annual profits. Like any business, trafficking relies on the transportation network—to recruit, move, or transfer their victims and to move goods produced by forced labor. Therefore, the transportation industry plays a critical role in preventing and combating human trafficking, as well as providing access for many survivors trying to leave their trafficking situation and obtain aid to rebuild their lives. 

This National Human Trafficking Prevention Month, we hosted a one-hour webinar featuring expert panelists to showcase efforts to combat this issue in the United States. Discussions included the role of transportation agencies in facilitating effective prevention training programs and increasing accurate victim identification, as well as putting in place survivor-centered and trauma-informed response protocols.

PDH Certificate

View Recording

View Human Trafficking Resources List


About the Panelists

  • Paul Chang, Regional Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinator, US Department of Labor

Paul Chang serves as the Regional Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinator at the U.S. Department of Labor – Wage and Hour Division. In his 28+ years with the agency, Paul worked on some of the most celebrated cases as an investigator and Assistant District Director. He developed numerous training materials and programs, including the Enterprise Model that focuses on strategic approaches to prosecution, protection, and prevention of forced labor. Paul served as the National Co-Chair of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (WHIAANHPI) Regional Network. Paul is also a lecturer at Cal State LA’s MPA program and Vanguard University on Human Trafficking. He is the recipient of numerous Secretary’s Awards and community honors, including the 2019 Global Center for Women and Justice Diamond Award.

 

  • Holly Austin Gibbs, System Director Human Trafficking Response Program, CommonSpirit Health

Holly Austin Gibbs is the System Director of the CommonSpirit Health Human Trafficking Response Program. Holly oversees efforts to implement policies, procedures, and education that assists providers in identifying patients who may be impacted by human trafficking and in offering trauma-informed services. In 2014, Holly released a book titled Walking Prey: How America’s Youth are Vulnerable to Sex Slavery; and in 2019, she received the Sister Concilia Moran Award from the Catholic Health Association. As a survivor of child sex trafficking, Holly has testified before Congress and consulted for organizations including the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and the AMBER Alert program.

  • Polly Hanson, Senior Director, Security, Risk and Emergency Management, American Public Transportation Association (APTA)

Polly Hanson coordinates with APTA stakeholders to develop transit security, risk and emergency management standards and policies. She serves as the Vice-chair of the TSA Surface Transportation Security Advisory Committee. Previously Ms. Hanson was the Chief of Police for AMTRAK, where she led a national police department responsible for protecting over 30 million passengers and 20,000 employees. Additionally, as the Chief of the Metro Transit Police in D.C., she led a tristate police department and directed the response to the terrorist attacks in Madrid and London. She received WMATA’s Carmen E. Turner Award, and the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) named Ms. Hanson a “Woman Who Moves the Nation.” Ms. Hanson is a member of the Operation Lifesaver, Inc Board of Directors.

  • Elizabeth Jespersen, Manager, Organizational & Human Capital Development, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA)

Elizabeth Jespersen has spent over 30 years in both the public and private sector of Transportation. As VTA’s Manager of Organizational and Human Capital Development, Elizabeth is responsible for all employee training and development programs. She previously served as the Supervisor of Organizational Development and Training. Elizabeth was deeply involved with Diversity and Inclusion initiatives including serving on VTA’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Committee and leading VTA’s Discover Opportunities in Transit grant partnership with the Federal Transit Authority. With the Director of Policy and Compliance, Elizabeth manages the Not On Transit Grant, which will provide federal dollars towards eliminating human trafficking in and around the VTA system.

Dr. Yagci Sokat is an Assistant Professor of Business Analytics at San José State University and a Research Associate at the Mineta Transportation Institute with a passion for using analytics to alleviate human suffering in the areas of public health, humanitarian logistics, and human trafficking. Supported by the United States Department of Transportation, IBM, Valley Transportation Authority and San José State University, she has led various multi-disciplinary anti-trafficking projects and has served on several local anti-trafficking committees. She received her PhD in Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences from Northwestern University and holds master’s degrees from Georgia Institute of Technology with a Fulbright scholarship.

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Contact Us

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